Job 2016

Job

The Book of Job contains some of the most beautiful poetry ever written. It also contains some important theology.

Job is afflicted precisely because of his righteousness. Neither he nor his friends is able to contemplate that that could be the case. Job believes he is being dealt with unfairly. His friends believe that his protestations of innocence are evidence of hubris as well as other secret sins.

In fact, God has set Job up to do him great honor. In standing fast in the face of unfair calamity, Job vindicates God's trust in him.

This book gives us perspective that not everything that happens on earth is a result of human action. There is also a spiritual dimension that we do not see. That realization should serve to make us very charitable toward our brothers when they are being afflicted.

  • Job 1-3
    In this introduction, God challenges Satan with Job's righteousness. Satan's response, that Job is fundamentally physical and not spiritual, sets up the rest of the book.Satan takes everything away from Job in the belief that he will eventually lose his faith and curse God.
  • Job 4-7 Eliphaz' First Accusation and Job's Reply
    Eliphaz, the first of Job's friends to speak, rebukes Job for claiming that he is righteous and does not deserve the woe that has befallen him. Job answers that his friend's comfort is no comfort at all and the he is indeed righteous.
  • Job 8-10 Bildad's First Accusation
    Bildad's first accusation: God does not do any injustice, therefore Job's problems are of his own making. Job's reply is that he is innocent, but there is no court to which he can go for justice when God is the accuser.
  • Job 11-14 Zophars First Accusation
    Zophar, the third of Job's friends to speak, opines that Job is getting far less punishment than he deserves. In this Zophar is presuming to understand both the mind of God and the heart of Job. The first is logically impossible and the second is presumptuous.
  • Job 15-17 - Eliphaz' Second Accusation
    Eliphaz rebukes Job for insisting on his own wisdom. He says that Job's stiff neck is what is hindering God from showing him mercy.
  • Job 18-19 - Bildad's Second Accusation
    In his second speech, Bildad describes what the wise believe is in store for the wicked. Since those very things are happening to Job, his accusation is that, despite what everyone had believed about him, Job is a wicked man.
  • Job 20-21 - Zophar's Second Accusation
    Zophar dogmatically asserts that God punishes the wicked and that Job's condition proves that he is unrighteous. Job counters with examples of the wicked prospering.
  • Job 22-24 - Eliphaz' Final Accusation
    Eliphaz accuses Job of acting like he believes he is doing God a favor by following His laws. He also believes that the calamity that his befallen Job is less than what his secret behavior deserves. Job's reply is that God is just but His timing is not in man's hands.
  • Job 25-28 - Bildad's Final Accusation
    Bildad expresses a common Christian belief, that it is inherently impossible for any man to be pure in God's eyes. Job answers that he understands the vast gap between man and God. He says, however that man is God's creation and is not inherently evil.
  • Job 29-31 - Job's Final Defense
    Having heard the accusations of his three friends, Job offers a summary defense of his life. He goes through a list of things that men do to be considered wicked and declares that he as never done any of them.
  • Job 32-35 Elihu
    Elihu has not spoken because of his youth, yet he does not find Job righteous. He believes that God does not punish for vengeance sake. Rather, punishment is meant to turn man from the path of destruction and set his feet on the path of righteousness.
  • Job 35-37 Elihu II
    In this second half of Elihu's statement, he gives a beautiful poem to the greatness of God. In this, he urges Job to consider his own insignificance in relation to God's majesty. Everything he says is true, but does not actually apply to Job's situation.
  • Job 38-42 - God Answers
    God enters the conversation, rebukes Job's friends and gives Job an opportunity to present his case. Wisely, Job simply falls down in worship. At the end, Job forgives his friends and God restores to him double what he had lost. God's soliloquy is some of the greatest poetry ever written.